Posts By: Jenelle


Jun 01 2012

Memorial Day Weekend 2012 #blogjune

Brooklyn Borough Hall

This Memorial Day weekend was just fabulous. Humid, but fabulous! The photo above is our Brooklyn Borough Hall all decorated for the day!

The weekend got off to a great start on Saturday morning by Collingwood winning against Adelaide. This is how we listened to the end of the game –


We picked up our Zipcar (a gorgeous BMW that was just beautiful!) and hit the road.


The traffic was not bad at all and we made it Upstate in great time. It seems traffic to or from Albany works in two ways – super fast or super slow.

We went to vigil Mass at Holy Spirit in the afternoon and then later that night, Bill was going out to dinner with the guys and to check out The Avengers at the Cinemaplex at Colonie. This was his third time seeing it in three weeks. Locations of viewing – London, Brooklyn and Albany!

I caught up with Colette for dinner at the Cracker Barrell and then she introduced me to the yummiest soft serve at one of East Greenbush’s most happening places on a Saturday night – Lickity Split!

Lickity Split

I had never seen so many varieties of ice-cream in one place – Froyo, Soft Serve (in stacks of flavours), sundaes, little cups, super cones – it was ice-cream heaven and a really nice place to hang out on a warm night.

Lickity Split

I had an amazing sleep in until sometime after 9 and before we knew it Sunday morning was in full swing. This was the view from our room at the Fairfield Inn. We never get sick of this place. We stay there so much and it is always dependable.

View from the Fairfield Inn

We spent all day at the Family Homestead spending quality time with Bill’s mom and dad. Bill made us French Toast for breakfast and then I got a head start on going through my recent findings with the genealogy research I have been doing. Bill was busy preparing lunch for us all. Everyone gets together EVERY Sunday for lunch without fail and over the past couple of years we have been doing cooking throwdown challenges. This time the choice was pizza and Bill was going against niece Rebecca. Bill decided to make a deep dish Chicago style pie while Rebecca did a whole wheat crust with chicken and bacon. Bill won and he was SO happy about it! Here is a photo Rebecca posted to Twitter with her face being all sad and Bill’s jubliation. Yes, we have a champion cup and everything.

We then went off to do some shopping before it was time to head over to the Johnson’s for a bonfire. I have never been to a bonfire and had never had S’mores before so this was very exciting for me!

Check out the sunset from their backyard. It is like this every night!

Our Bonfire

Here was the bonfire just getting started –

Our Bonfire

It started to take hold –

Our Bonfire

Then it got so huge none of us could stand the heat by sitting so close to the flame!

Our Bonfire

Then it started to settle down and feel less like an inferno –

Our Bonfire

This was Bill’s first attempt at getting my mashmallows toasted… the fire was still too active!

Our Bonfire

Here we are assembling our S’mores – they are awesome! The gooey marshmallow, solid chocolate and almost savoury graham crackers mesh so well together. Oh they were SO yummy!

Our Bonfire

My mouth is watering just looking at this picture!

Our Bonfire

A funny thing happened during the bonfire – we managed to get a good wifi signal so we were able to FaceTime mum and dad back in Melbourne while we were sitting outside. It was such a treat!!

We didn’t get back to the Fairfield Inn until way after midnight and we had to be up super early on Monday to check out and get back to the Johnson’s for the Memorial Day parade in Castleton.

This was how the bonfire looked 14 hours after it was ablaze –


We got a great postion out the front of the Elementary school and near where the judging panel sits so we got a great view of each of the groups participating. Getting there early was the key!

The parade is a big deal. Here is one of the local policeman directing traffic –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

View from our spot –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The early birds –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

This miniature collie was TOO CUTE. I need one now!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

Here I am… one more Memorial Day to go and then I’ll be Citizen Jenelle Blevins. I cannot wait!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

Everything is so green.. and how cute is the Castleton Elementary school? LOVE!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

Rebecca and Emily were on awesome niece duty and bought everyone iced coffees and muffins!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The patriotic couple with Bill wearing his Aussie bush hat that we happened to get at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. We finally found one that fits!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The parade started and here are the veterans!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

Kids decorate their bikes –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The girl guides were adorable!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The volunteer fire brigade –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The preschoolers –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The local Republicans –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The local Democrats –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The Friends of the Library didn’t let anyone down – check out their amazing float!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The school band –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

Float from one of the locals –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The boy scouts being awesome –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

Here is an original, fully restored ambulance –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

This one said it all – SOME GAVE ALL –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

I have a lot more photos over on my Flickr account. It was a wonderful morning and it was a beautiful display of community spirit.

Pauline and Rob then had another big BBQ lunch at their place so we managed to get to spend more time with everyone. We decided to leave Albany at 8pm to try and avoid the usual traffic and this worked a treat as we were back in Brooklyn by 11.30!

Even though we left late, it did not dampen my enthusiasm for visiting the New Baltimore Thruway plaza for some drinks… here is a beautifully retro looking Roy Rogers –

New Baltimore Thruway Plaza

The New York State tourist information booth was closed –

New Baltimore Thruway Plaza

This was one Memorial Day weekend that was so jam packed but it was full of great memories and catching up with everyone… I wish every weekend could be like that one!

Sadly, our other tradition of watching he PBS Memorial Day Concert from Washington didn’t eventuate as it was cancelled not long after it started due to bad weather. So we watched what we could. That is one Memorial Day event I would love to go to… but then it would mean missing out on everything I have just posted about!

Looking back –
Memorial Day 2011
Memorial Day 2010

May 22 2012

Happy Anniversary!

36 years ago today dad was putting on a red (he says it was maroon.. but still!) velvet suit with a ruffled shirt and mum was wearing her veil that I would end up wearing many years later.

Happy Anniversary Ma and Pa!!!

Mum and Dad

Awwww look at them! LOVE!

They are a constant inspiration and the only thing left to do is calculate how many cups of tea mum has made for dad over all these years. That is real dedication!

May 20 2012

Hatfields & McCoys on the History Channel

Anyone else counting down until the Hatfields & McCoys screens on the History Channel? Saw the promo for the first time yesterday – we cannot wait!!

It starts on Memorial Day weekend… woot woot!!

PS – Travel posts will start soon. We’ve just been getting back into the swing of things and have had a stack of odd jobs to do this weekend! Fun times indeed!

May 14 2012

America’s Got Talent

Are you watching? We are!

We’ve never watched it before but we are this season. For one reason, Howard Stern is a judge. Hooray!

Ordering chinese for dinner and watching AGT is us trying to cope with Post Vacation Depression.

Then I remembered, we were just watching the finale of Britain’s Got Talent while we were in London… and it starts again.

I hope to start up a series of posts about Europe tomorrow! We have clean clothes and Bill picked up our duffel bag of mail from the post office this afternoon so things are kind of getting back to normal but I won’t like, being on the bus and going to work at 7.10 this morning was way harsh.

May 12 2012


So here we are.

Grosvenor House, London. 11pm.

Our alarm is set for 5.30am

We are trying to consolidate our luggage and pack multiple tins of Queens Jubilee Biscuits, prayer books from Rome, housewares from Paris and piles of other things we have accumulated on our journey. We have way too much stuff but Bill has been tagged with the name The Consolidator for his fine skills in fitting way too much stuff into a way too small case and he is making this happen!

Hanging over this whole process is the feeling that we dread.

We don’t want this to end.

Here is a photo from yesterday at Paddington Station as we made our way to Windsor for the Queen’s Jubilee Pageant. It was brilliant!

May 08 2012

‘Allo luv!

Rule Britannia!

We made it to London!

Our hotel, Grosvenor House, is out of this world unbelievable for this former backpacker! We had a great journey on the Eurostar and quickly checked in, did hand washing that we had to do, ordered a room service lunch and then made it to the Tower of London with time to spare.

We will wander around until 9.30 as we then have to return to the Tower for the Ceremony of the Keys! Woot woot!

Tomorrow, Parliament is opening so we are running to the Mall to see the Queen go past in the morning! It is so good to be back – I shouldn’t have left it so long!

In the meantime, we are sending you all a big hello from London!

May 06 2012

Sarkozy out!

Today is the final presidential election for France. At the moment we are watching amazing scenes on TV. Bill can decipher about every tenth word and the election commentators are really arguing among each other… not just playing it up for the cameras!

At about 5.30 when we were starting to head back for an early night, there were police everywhere. Not just some cars, but whole conveys of trucks, vans and cars that were all full of officers. We are currently watching an OJ Simpson style chase of the cars carrying the candidates. It is mental out there! Here are the scenes right now from Place de la Bastille. Crazy!

May 05 2012

Saturday night in Paris

We are tired!

Another full day today meant that by 6.30 tonight we have been laying in bed just relaxing.

Dinner tonight? Cheese puff chips from the supermarket in Venice that have been sitting in my suitcase, some fresh strawberries and other fruit from the fruit stand nearby and a chocolate chip baguette from the boulangerie down the road.

Not exactly glamorous, but our legs definitely need a good rest and.. this is supposed to be a holiday after all!

While we are having a great time, we are still missing Rome like crazy. London has some work to do to try and top Rome… we’ll see what happens!

May 04 2012

Bonjour Paris!

We are in Paris!

Leaving Venice this morning was an adventure with a nearly 2 hour vaporetto trip to the airport. Definitely the most interesting airport commute I have done!

We got some lunch at the airport – best airport meal ever of pumpkin gnocchi with butter, cheese and poppy seeds. Delish!

We arrived at our accommodation safely on a wonderful train trip from the airport. We are staying out of the heart of Paris in a lovely neighbourhood near Cité Universitaire. Again, another amazing accommodation choice so with that we are three out of three! 🙂 Here is the view from our window –

May 03 2012

Ciao Italia!


So sad!

Tomorrow we leave Italy for Paris. We do not want to leave! It has been so wonderful and we have seen so much! Italy just seems to suit us. We have even said buonosera to our usual six o’clock on the dot eating time and have been eating at 8.30!

We will miss Italy so much… but we’ll be back!!